Saturday, May 21, 2011

More changes

Having just completed chemo #4 on wednesday, I am now more than half way through.

New observations that I've noticed this round:

Age spots.

Yup.

At 35.

I have 2 so far on my cheeks - that I've just discovered. I look like I'm 60. I guess I'll have to figure out what to do about that, I hear make up covers them well... maybe I'll turn into a 'hair and make up' girl after all (ahem... minus the hair for now)

I also have started having hot flashes. This started last week. Every few hours I get completely overwhelmed by them and I have to immediately stick my head in the freezer or take off all my clothes. Then, 5 minutes later, it passes and I put my clothes back on and pretend not to notice Brad's funny looks that he gives me.

He is entirely amused by this whole process.

Me, not so much.

I guess I am officially in chemical induced menopause.

Sweet.

I am so amazed by my body.
It is changing before my eyes and I am in awe of how little power I have over it. This poison that is in my veins is the only thing in control of it. It's crippled it, it's aged it, it's killing it little by little. I take comfort only in the fact that it is doing the same thing to any random cancer cells that may be lurking around.

Speaking of lurking cancer cells... I've decided that I would do radiation after all, once chemo is done. For 3 weeks. Which is a bummer since I didn't expect to have to do it (but since they had found 'isolated tumor cells' in one of my nodes, we've decided to err on the side of caution and just go for it.

So, in the heat of August, I'll be doing radiation... being cooked from the inside out.

Not my favorite way to spend my summer.

11 comments:

embracingtherain said...

Yay for being halfway through with chemo! Radiation in August doesn't sound like any fun, but it sounds like it's the right thing to do. If you feel up to it, you'll certainly be able to justify eating as much ice cream, popsicles, and smoothies as you please.

Sayre said...

Geez... hot flashes AND radiation? That doesn't sound like much fun. I've been having the hot flashes off and on for a little over a year. I like cold showers, no heat in the winter and no covers at night. I drink LOTS of ice water. The ones at night are the worst.

However, the choices you make are for life - and that makes them the right ones for you! Even if you need a built-in fan.

Conquering Cancer By Living Well said...

The freezer works well, doesn't it? I'm starting to find that some of my flashes are triggered by stress or anxiety - I'll get one and realize that I had just been stressed out. Very strange! I think you're making a wise choice with the radiation - why decline it if it's available? Yes, it's going to be in the summertime, when it's hot as it is...but it's just one more kind of ammo you're using to overpower and win this fight - the more available cancer-kicking sources, the better!

McCrackens Mom said...

Age spots..yup..just some concealer if they really bother you..hot flashes are annoying..I have fans blowing all the time. I agree that I think your decision to undergo radiation is the right one. I know it's a decision no one ever wants to have to make and you've already had to make too many decisions that you shouldn't have had to. Do you have a magic bag?? I keep on in the freezer (for migraines) but when I used to have hot flashes I would put one on my neck or on the soles of my feet...sometimes it helped with the heat. I was glad to see your post...worry when we don't see a post. Sending hugs Michelle. xxx

Vancouver Voyeur said...

I agree with Embracingtherain, halfway there is something to cheer about. All the other stuff is fixable. You can bleach away the age spots, you can wear wigs and eventually regrow the hair, you can go to the freezer or cold showers for the hot flashes. The important thing to do, to keep this all in perspective, is to look at your children and your fiance. You're here another day, and another, and another. That's what you're doing this for. Be brave, fight on.

nbrsspot.blogspot.com said...

Hey there one of my favorite peeps.. How are you feeling?? Hopefully well.. Congrats on half way through. I cant say enough or someone else has said it about the radiation.. I am here though if you need some eyes to read things going on.. Life is a box of chocolates and I am so proud of you for forging on.. Its a big deal to deal with something like this and I am proud to know you and know you are fighting with all your strength to do so. I hope I didnt stick my foot in my mouth..

I dont always say the right things and sometimes what i try to say isnt what is said.. Lots of Love.. Hugss..

Mandi - www.DarnGoodLemonade.com said...

Yay! More than halfway! I am also plagued by those nasty hot flashes, it has still been pretty cool here so I usually walk outside to cool off. Sounds like I will be hitting up the freezer when it warms up. :)

Radiation doesn't sound fun, but it is another weapon to add to your arsenal to make it so that you never have to go through this experience again and can stay cancer free. I say do what you have to do, because the goal is to only do it once!

Knock knock - it's cancer! said...

Embracing - I am so glad to be more than half way through!! Thanks for stopping by again, by the way :)

Sayre - I am doing it all for my family, no doubt about it, and there's no way I'll ever forget it. They are all worth it, and I am lucky enough to be able to fight.

Conquering - I've not noticed that yet... about stress or anxiety? I'm still new to the 'hot flashes' thing, lol.

VV - I am not losing perspective, thanks for reeling me back in, I was feeling a bit blah about it all. This is all a good thing, and the side effects, whatever they may be, are just that, side effects. My life is full. I have many more memories to make.

Tweets - Thanks for stopping by and your kind words.

Mandi - Only once is true. You and me both! Here's to us tough chicks :)

Anonymous said...

Benefits and gratitudes...

You have a hot summer and hot flashes to look forward to...
You don't get your period any more...
An excuse to get naked with Brad (although what's his excuse??)...
Age spots - you won't get asked for ID when purchasing booze...
Nobody will mistake you for Dacia or Braxton's sister...
Nobody will mistake you for Brad's daughter (but they may think you're his mother)...

While gratitude lists may piss me off, they do help to put things into perspective.
The list just goes on and on :).
Smile and know that you're loved.
Eileen

Kathy said...

Yay for being more than halfway through! I am sorry about all the side effects. That just sucks. It really does. I try to be a half full kinda gal most of the time, but there are situations in life that make it especially difficult to find silver linings. Hang in there. I am proud of you for doing all that you can to get through and make the best of living with breast cancer. Hang in there! Sending lots of thoughts and prayers your way. (((HUGS)))

pinkunderbelly said...

I thought the age spots were bad until the hot flashes started! Yikes. Not that you want more chemicals in your body, but Effexor is working well for me for the hot flashes. Instead of 10 a day, I may get 2, and they're not nearly as strong. I think hot flashes in Houston (land of eternal summer) are an especially cruel version of hell, and going through menopause a decade or more before my girlfriends sucks too. They think it's amusing -- wait til it happens to them!!
PS I totally agree with your decision to do radiation, for what it's worth. Glad you're halfway through. We gotta celebrate all the milestones along the way in this weird-ass "journey."